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What Is the Order in Blotting Out Amalek?
Article No. 22, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90
The Zohar says in the portion BeShalach (Item 471), “Rabbi Yitzhak said, ‘It is written, ‘For I will surely blot out,’ which means that the Creator will blot out. It is also written, ‘Blot out the memory of Amalek,’ meaning that we should blot it out? He replies, ‘However, the Creator said, ‘You will blot out the memory of Amalek below, and I will blot out the memory of Amalek above.’’”
We should understand what is “Amalek below” and what is “Amalek above” in the work. It means that there is the matter of blotting out two Amaleks here—above and below. Also, this implies that first we must blot out Amalek below, and then the Creator will blot out Amalek above? We should understand why we were not given a complete thing, as we learn, “The awakening from below awakens the doing above.” This means that the things we do below cause changes to occur above, as well, meaning the revelation of the abundance and annulment of the Sitra Achra [other side]. Thus, why with the blotting out of Amalek, our actions cannot blot out Amalek above? Why were we given only half the work, and the Creator does the other half? Why this partnership?
Concerning Amalek, we should also understand what his name implies. Generally, Amalek is called the “evil inclination.” However, specifically, the evil inclination has many names. Our sages said (Masechet Sukkah, p 52), “The evil inclination has seven names: Evil, Uncircumcised, Impure, Enemy, Obstacle, North Stone. It also has other names such as Pharaoh King of Egypt and Amalek.”
It is known that in every thing, we discern two discernments: light and Kli [vessel]. Even in corporeal things, we discern internality and externality in everything. The externality is called the Kli, and the internality is called the “light.” For example, when a person yearns for bread, or for meat and fish, etc., a person does not yearn for the Kli, meaning the external part, which he sees. Rather, he yearns for the interior, which is not seen, meaning to the taste of bread, or meat, or fish.
Moreover, we see that enjoying the pleasure dressed in the Kli requires preparation. To the extent of one’s preparation, so one can enjoy the light of pleasure clothed in the Kli, which is regarded as the externality. In other words, a person who comes to drink water when he is thirsty is not like one who drinks water when he is not thirsty, since the Kli for reception of pleasure is measured by the level of yearning for the pleasure.
For this reason, we see that when a person wants to enjoy drinks, he first eats acrid and salty foods in order to invoke in him the desire to drink. It is likewise in everything: Without yearning, it is impossible to enjoy anything. This stems from the beginning of creation, as we learn that the purpose of creation, which is His desire to do good to His creations, created a desire to receive delight and pleasure. Before the fourth phase—which is yearning—is revealed, it is still not regarded as a Kli that is fit to receive the light and pleasure.
Now we will return to the light and Kli in spirituality, meaning that the same order that applies in corporeality, applies also in spirituality. In truth, it is to the contrary: That which applies in corporeality, extends from spirituality. However, there is one difference between corporeality and spirituality. In corporeality, the pleasure, meaning the light, which is the internality, is revealed, as it is written, “The eye sees and the heart covets.” Therefore, when looking at something corporeal, we can more or less feel that there is an inner taste there. The pleasure clothed in the externality of the Kli attracts us and invokes within us the desire.
Conversely, in spiritual pleasures, which are clothed in the externality of the Kelim [vessels], which are called Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], they are under Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment. Therefore, we cannot say that the pleasure and light clothed in the Mitzva [singular of Mitzvot] of Tzitzit [prayer shawl] attracts him and this is why he wears a Tzitzit. It is likewise with the rest of the Mitzvot. As we learned, the Tzimtzum was for the purpose of the correction of creation. It follows that in this, there is a big difference between corporeal pleasures clothed in external matters, and spiritual pleasures, clothed in external matters, which are Torah and Mitzvot.
Hence, because of the Tzimtzum, there is the matter of Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] and Lishma [for Her sake] here. This is so because of the concealment that was done on spiritual pleasures. That is, a person cannot be told, “Try to wear a Tzitzit and you will see how good it feels to wear a Tzitzit.” Therefore, we must say, “Wear a Tzitzit and in return you will receive pleasure that is not clothed in the Mitzva of Tzitzit, for in this, you cannot feel any flavor.”
Therefore, a person asks, “Why do I need to wear a Tzitzit?” Then, the person who asks should be told, “You will receive great pleasure in return for this.” “What pleasure will I receive?” Then he is told, “You can choose worldly pleasures in return for work in Torah and Mitzvot, as it is written in The Zohar, such as provision, health, and long life, or you will also receive a reward in the next world, as Maimonides says at the end of Hilchot Teshuva.”
It follows that Lo Lishma means not as it is in corporeality, where there is some pleasure of meat or fish is clothed there in the interior of the Kli. That is, the light that is clothed inside the Kli draws him to observe Torah and Mitzvot. Rather, there is a different pleasure there, which is not clothed in these Kelim that he will receive, and this draws him to observe Torah and Mitzvot.
This is called Lo Lishma, meaning that the intention in the Mitzva does not draw him, meaning what is clothed inside the Mitzva. Rather, the Lo Lishma draws him, meaning that which is not clothed in the Mitzva, this is what draws him. However, the pleasure that is not clothed in the Mitzva and is outside the Kelim, which are called Torah and Mitzvot, this is what draws him.
This is called Lo Lishma. That is, when he engages in Torah and Mitzvot, he receives the strength to work because he will receive reward later. This means that if he could receive greater pleasures elsewhere, he could relinquish Torah and Mitzvot. But since he has faith in reward and punishment, he must therefore observe Torah and Mitzvot. Yet, he would be happier if he did not have to observe so many Mitzvot and would receive the same reward.
This means that observing Mitzvot does not interest him, but rather the reception of the reward. As in corporeality, every person wants to work fewer hours and receive a higher salary. Likewise, all those whose work is Lo Lishma are not concerned with observing more Torah and Mitzvot, but are concerned with the opposite—why they must observe so many Torah and Mitzvot, since the Creator could have given us fewer Torah and Mitzvot, and more reward. This is regarded as the Lo Lishmaforcing him to engage in Torah and Mitzvot.
It is not so with those who want to work Lishma, meaning that they want the Torah and Mitzvotthemselves to be the causes compelling them to engage in Torah and Mitzvot. As with corporeal pleasures, the internality clothed in the externality is what invokes them to use the externality. This means that they yearn to eat meat or fish not so that in return for the labor of eating meat and fish and so forth, they will receive a reward. Rather, they yearn for the pleasure found inside the meat and the fish, and there is no one in the world who is angry at the Creator for creating so much externality, meaning many things where in each one, a different pleasure is clothed, and a person says, I am content with bread and water and I do not want to have more pleasures dressed in more things.
On the contrary, we see that each one tries as hard as he can to increase external things, meaning of several kinds. Even when he eats meat, he tries to get the best meat, meaning he is meticulous about eating meat. In other words, he exerts in the light, in the pleasure clothed in the externality, so as to feel a better taste.
In the same manner, a person behaves when he works Lishma. That is, he is not angry that he has so many Mitzvot, meaning he has no grievances why there are 613 Mitzvot, and he would settle for less, since a person believes that in each Mitzva there is a different flavor, as in corporeality. When he wants to walk in the path of Lishma, although he does not feel the interior of the pleasure clothed in each Mitzva, he believes in the sages that this is so, as it is written in The Zohar, that there are 613 deposits, where in each Mitzva, a special light is deposited, which belongs to that Mitzva.
And although he does not feel, he believes that this is so because there was concealment and Tzimtzum so they would not feel the pleasure, regarded as the internality clothed in Torah and Mitzvot, which is for the sake of the lower ones. In other words, as long as they were not rewarded with the aim to bestow, which is called “Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator,” if the pleasure is revealed, they will certainly receive it in order to receive, which will separate them from the Life of Lives, and this is regarded as death in spirituality.
For this reason, they want to work only in order to bestow. That is, they want to serve the King, as it says in The Zohar, that “the essence of fear is that a person serves the Creator because He is great and ruling,” namely because of the greatness of the King. It is also within nature for a person to enjoy when serving a great one.
For this reason, a person who wants to work in order to bestow needs to have a great King to serve. Then, the person does not want a reward, meaning to receive the pleasure clothed in the externality of Torah and Mitzvot, but wants to take upon himself to work only to maintain the externality of Torah and Mitzvot, and does not want the internality because he believes in the sages that if he yearns to receive the internality, it will cause him separation.
For this reason, he wants to work only to observe the externality of Torah and Mitzvot. But what is his pleasure? According to the rule, “Without pleasure, a person cannot work,” because of His desire to do good to His creations, a person must enjoy the work. Yet, the difference is that sometimes a person works in order to receive the reward of one day’s work, as it is written, “In the evening, you will give his reward,” or he will receive his reward each week. Also, there are people who are merchants and receive their reward with each and every transaction, but without reward, it is impossible to work.
For this reason, those who want to work in order to bestow, meaning with the intention to serve the great King, enjoy instantaneously. That is, in everything they do, they already enjoy and they have no need to receive reward later because they receive the reward instantaneously, like the merchants.
However, there is great work here, meaning that the main work in the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot begins here. If the whole of man’s basis is that his pleasure is in that he is serving a great King, if His greatness were to be revealed in the world, it would not be difficult to serve the King. But we learned that there was a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment on the delight and pleasure clothed in Torah and Mitzvot, and there was also concealment on the Creator Himself so that we must believe in His guidance, that He is good and does good and that the Shechina [Divinity] is in the dust and that the Shechina is in exile, meaning that His glory is not revealed to the lower ones.
However, we have much work to overcome our bodies, since the body argues that we see that the Creator created in us an intellectual power, and we go with our intellect. That is, we heed what our intellect tells us. Therefore, when we come to the body and say to it that we do not need to look at what the intellect tells us, but go above the intellect and believe in the Creator above reason, the body rejects to this.
Therefore, when the greatness and importance of the King are not revealed, how can we work and observe Torah and Mitzvot because of the greatness of the King, since the Sitra Achra [other side] is covering His greatness? Thus, how can we work because of the greatness and importance of the King?
This is the meaning of the Klipa [shell/peel] of Amalek, as it is written (Portion Ki Tetze), “Remember that which Amalek did unto you, which occurred to you along the way when you were tired and weary and not fearing God.” RASHI interpreted the meaning of “which occurred to you along the way” to mean heat and cold: “He cooled you and chilled your boiling, for all the nations feared you, but he began and showed a way for others.” He interprets there in Siftey Hachamim, “He wanted to say with a hot matter that everyone fears it. So were the nations of the world afraid of you, but Amalek chilled you and made you lukewarm, as in tepid water.”
It follows that Amalek is a Klipa. When a person overcomes and begins to walk on the path of truth, he comes and weakens the person and says, “Do not fear departing from the path of bestowal.” And the more a person overcomes with greatness of the Creator, saying it is worthwhile to work only for the Creator and not for himself, (Amalek comes) and makes a person understand, “You see that you are tired and weary from this work, and you are not fearing God,” meaning that the fear of heaven that Israel had, when they said that it is worthwhile to work and serve a great King, he instilled his view in this, meaning that there is no importance to the King. Thus, “Why do you want to work for no reward, but only for the sake of the Creator, because of His greatness?” He spoiled this fear, meaning that his whole purpose was only to revoke the importance of the fear of heaven called “the essence of fear is that it is because He is great and ruling.”
It turns out that he instilled in the people of Israel a cancellation of the importance of fearing God, for his entire war was to weaken them from the work of serving a great King, that for this, meaning for the importance of the greatness of the Creator, it is worthwhile to work and serve Him.
This is the meaning of “which occurred to you along the way,” meaning on this path when we want no reward but this, namely to serve the King. This importance, he spoiled.
This means that when Amalek sees that a person becomes excited and heated up in the work, and a person is delighted that he has been rewarded with some importance, that it is worthwhile to serve a great King, he comes and slanders, and takes this importance away from the person. Naturally, a person loses the warmth he had in the little bit of sensation he had, that he was connected to a great King.
This is the meaning of the words, “And you are tired and weary.” That is, during the work, when a person believes that he is serving a great King, a person lives without feeling any fatigue. But when Amalek instills in him the cancellation of the greatness of the Creator, a person immediately grows tired from the work. This is as The Zohar says, “Where there is effort, there is the Sitra Achra. This means that a person should know that if he does the holy work and feels this work as a burden and a load, it is a sign that the Sitra Achra is there and weakens a person so he will not feel that he is serving a great King.
It follows that the Klipa of Amalek aims primarily against the greatness of the Creator, meaning that the foundation of Judaism is built primarily on fear, “because He is great and ruling.” Precisely on this was the war of Amalek, meaning that a person will not work on the quality of “fear of God.” This is the meaning of the words, “and not fearing God.”
According to the above we can understand what we asked about the meaning of what The Zoharsays, that “There is Amalek below and there is Amalek above.” “Amalek below” refers to the Kli, and “Amalek above” refers to the light. That is, Amalek not letting him work for the sake of the Creator is called a Kli, meaning the desire to work for the sake of the Creator, although Amalek interferes with his arguments.
In other words, “Amalek below” means that a person wants to work for the sake of the Creator but Amalek does not let him work. He recognizes and feels that this is the Klipa that brings him these thoughts that revoke the glory of heaven, and it pains him. This is called “man’s work,” meaning that the person wants to revoke all the arguments of Amalek, and a person comes to feel that by himself, he does not see how he can cancel the slander that Amalek speaks to him every time he wants to work only because of the greatness and importance of the King. The person sees that more than a prayer, to pray to the Creator not to be impressed by his slander, there is nothing he can do. This is regarded as a person wanting to blot out the Amalek in his heart and mind.
This completes the Kli for blotting out Amalek, where with this desire and lack that a person has, he feels in it the losses that this Amalek causes him in life, and yet he cannot overcome by himself. At that time, a person feels that all he needs is the help of the Creator, that the Creator will help him, and he believes in our sages, who said, “He who comes to purify is aided,” and then the Creator revokes his Amalek.
According to the above, we can interpret what we asked about what The Zohar says, that there is Amalek above and there is Amalek below, and that the Creator said about the Amalek above, “I will surely blot out,” meaning that the Creator will blot him out above, and about Amalek below, the Creator said, “Blot out the memory of Amalek,” meaning that man must blot out. We asked why the two Amaleks, and why does the Creator not blot out both, or that man will have the power to blot out both? Why this partnership?
The meaning is that there are light and Kli, and there is no light without a Kli, as it is known that there is no filling without a lack. We also asked, What is the quality of Amalek that we must blot out more than the rest of the names of the evil inclination? The answer is that the evil inclination slanders the Creator, that it is not worthwhile to engage in Torah and Mitzvot. Since according to the rule that one cannot make a single move without a reason that compels him to do so, The Zohar says that there are three reasons for which man observes Torah and Mitzvot (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Item 190): “Fear is interpreted in three discernments, two of which do not contain a proper root, and one is the root of fear. There is a person who fears the Creator so that his sons may live and not die, or fears a bodily punishment, or a punishment to one’s money. Hence, he always fears Him. It follows that the fear he fears of the Creator is not placed as the root, for his own benefit is the root, and the fear is its offshoot. Then there is a person who fears the Creator because he fears the punishment of that world and the punishment of Hell. Those two kinds of fear are not the essence of fear or its root. Fear, which is the most important, is when one fears one’s Master because He is great and ruling, the essence and the root of all the worlds, and everything is considered nothing compared to Him.And he will place his will in that place, which is called ‘fear.’”
Accordingly, we see that although there is the evil inclination, which does not let one observe Torah and Mitzvot, they are not the opposite of the essence of fear, called “because He is great and ruling.” This is the essence of the fear for which a person wants to serve the King because of the greatness and importance of the King. Amalek wants to weaken specifically this, meaning he argues that the person himself sees that there is no importance to the Creator that He should be served because of His greatness, for you see what great concealment there is on His guidance, that we can say that He leads the world as the good who does good.
He argues that this is not concealment, but that as we can with our eyes, this is really so, and not as the people of Israel say, that in truth, the Creator leads the world as the good who does good, but we have not yet been rewarded with seeing how His Providence is in the manner of good and doing good. Thus, instead, we must believe above reason and say, “They have eyes, and see not.”
Accordingly, we see that this Klipa is truly against the essence of the fear. But with the rest of the Klipot, they are not so specific against faith that He is good and does good. It follows that the Klipa of Amalek is truly the opposite of the true fear.
This is the meaning of what is written about Amalek, “and he was not fearing God.” That is, he slandered the fear of the glory of heaven, meaning the fear because of the glory of heaven, that we should walk on that line. This was all of Amalek’s resistance, since this is truly against the real work that a person should be rewarded with attaining.
By this we can understand why we must blot out this Klipa. The reason is that we should say that there is no truth in her words that there is no concealment here. Rather, as we see, so it is. This discernment must be blotted out, meaning to say that there is no truth in her words.
However, how can a person blot out when there is concealment on His guidance, when Amalek stands strong against the person? The Creator says about this, “You must give the Kli,” meaning the lack, namely that which you need, so you must pay attention to what it is you lack.
This is why the Creator says, “Blot out the memory of Amalek,” meaning He says that you do not need to do anything, meaning any tips so you can work for Me, but only blot out what Amalek says to you and believe above reason, meaning above Amalek’s reason, who is slandering Me, that it is not worthwhile to work for Me.
If you want to work above reason because, as it is written, “What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear Me?” it is specifically this quality that he resists, and you want to blot him out. If your desire is true but you cannot blot him out, this is regarded as blotting him out from below.
With what will you blot him out? Answer, with the desire—that you want to go above reason. Then, I will blot him out above, meaning I will give you the strength to blot out.
We understand this in two discernments, meaning that you will be rewarded with the revelation of the face. It follows that everything that Amalek said was blotted out. That is, his words were not true. And 2) you will have the strength to go and accept the concealment of the face
However, the revelation of the face will come later, as it is written about Moses, that our sages said, “In return for ‘And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look,’ he was rewarded with ‘The image of the Lord he beheld.’” It follows that he blotted him out above, meaning that there is already revelation of the face.
The question we asked, Why does the Creator not let a person do everything? is simple: Concerning the revelation of the face, only the Creator can reveal His face. It cannot be said that we attribute this to the person. Also, concerning a person having to work during the concealment, and the Creator not giving the strength right away, why must man begin, or he will not have the Kli? It is because first a person must acquire a lack, and then it can be said that the Creator satisfies the lack.
It follows that “Amalek below” means that a person feels that this is Amalek and wants to blot him out because he does not want to hear his slander. This work belongs to man.
Amalek above means that his entire grip is in the concealment, and afterward the Creator gives the revelation of the face. This is considered that Amalek has been blotted out above, and this work belongs to the Creator.
Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link